Surgical removal of epiretinal membrane is safe and feasible in young patients but with a higher rate of recurrence than observed in older adult patients.
In young patients, the membrane may adhere strongly to retinal vessels, and characteristics of thickness and adherence may be different from those seen in adult patients, according to investigators from the Hôpital Lariboisière at the Université Paris 7 in Paris, France.
They conducted a retrospective review of nine male and 11 female patients, aged seven to 26 years (mean 16.3 years), who had undergone vitrectomy and epiretinal membrane removal. Follow-up was for a mean 21.2 months with a range of four to 96 months.
Thirteen of the 20 cases were of idiopathic epiretinal membrane. Six of these cases had ocular inflammation associated with epiretinal membrane and one had combined hamartoma of the retina and retinal pigment epithelium. Thirteen cases exhibited an epiretinal membrane that was especially thick, white, and opaque with localized constriction and severe distortion of the retina.